Quartz Pebbles

Killaan Holy Well

B. Doherty

Example of quartz stone identified at Killaan Holy Well
B. Doherty 2017
Selection of quartz found at Killaan Holy Well
B. Doherty 2017
Selection of small stones found at Killaan Holy Well
B. Doherty 2017

A number of small stones were identified on site at Killaan Holy Well. They vary in size and composition. Some are rounded while others are angular and sub-angular. The quartz pebble pictured to the right measures 2cm x 1.5cm x 1cm. It was a rounded pebble which was cracked or broken in antiquity. This is characteristic of five of the quartz pebbles found at Killaan.

Why quartz?

Quartz traditionally represents cleansing and spirituality, possibly signifying the cleansing of the soul. Quartz stones, when rubbed together can cause a spark or light to emanate. These white stones have been used from Neolithic times for decoration and within the construction of ceremonial sites.

Votive Offering

The tradition of leaving something at a place of pilgrimage was an offering or thanks to the saint/God for petitions asked. Many people would leave a stone, either brought with them or picked up en route to the place of pilgrimage. Small stones/pebbles were also used to count the decades of the rosary. Clothing and garments are known to be left as votive offerings at other holy wells throughout Ireland.



This page was added on 22/01/2018.

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